The Dispatcher by John Scalzi – a book review

thedispatcher  5 Stars

This book’s expected publication is May 31st, 2017.

Scalzi writes a chilling story of how people will still continue to want to dispel revenge even when killing someone or anyone dying is almost a thing of the past. Great sub-plot of what is the value of life and if dying is really a sign that God has a hand in it.

Excellent sci-fi / mystery novella. I definitely would like to see this continue in a full length novel. The characters were great and the pacing was spot-on. This would be a great series Mr. Scalzi, hint, hint. The cop, Langdon, and the Dispatcher, Valdez, make a great team.

More please.

Categories: 2017 Publication Release, Book Review, Book Talk, Bookshelf, Dystopia, Mystery | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Returned by Jason Mott ~ A Review

thereturnedMy rating: 4.5 stars

What would you do if your dead friend/loved one all of a sudden showed up at your doorstep, many years later, maybe decades later?

I read this early on this year. This was a very good read. Not sure why I didn’t give it 5 stars, but something, very small, was lacking, although I can’t put my finger on what. Maybe I’ll need to rethink my rating, because I’m not sure what more I could have wanted. It was an easy read and kept me interested from the beginning. It also is a book that the more you think about it, the more you realize just how deep it goes, without you knowing that it has left many questions, many wonderings.

In the Author’s Note section of the book,  jason mott writes:

“TWELVE years after my mother passed away, I can hardly remember the sound of her voice…In July 2010, a couple of weeks after the anniversary of my mother’s death, I dreamed of her. The dream was a simple one: I came home from work and she was there, at the dinner table, waiting for me. For the course of the entire dream, we simply talked. I told her about grad school and life in general since her death. She asked me why I still hadn’t settled down and started a family…

  Not long after that, I cornered a friend over lunch and told him about my emotional unease…Sometime later in our lunch, as conversation was running low, my friend asked: ‘Can you imagine if she actually did come back, just for one night? And what if it wasn’t just her? What if it happened to other people, too?’

   The Returned was born that day.”

Back to my first question: What would you do if your dead friend/loved one all of a sudden showed up at your doorstep?

No, seriously, think about that for longer than a second. What would you do? How would you welcome them back…or would you?

The dead do not age; you do. Time does not move on for them; it does for you. How and would they fit back into your life?

What if only some of the dead returned? What if your loved ones didn’t come back?

How would you feel as one of “The Returned”? Would the joy of being reconnected with the person/family you love, outweigh the disappointment of not being accepted back fully, of being viewed as “different”, “weird”, “strange”, “not one of us”?

I loved one passage in particular in this book; it has stayed with me for months:

  ” She thought then of what her mother had told her once about death. ‘Death is only the beginning of the reunion you did not know you wanted’.”  (pg. 139-140)

The more I think about it, the deeper this book gets.


Categories: Book Review, Fantasy, Fiction, Goodreads, Mystery, NetGalley, Science Fiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joyland by Stephen King ~ A Review

Joyland  5 Stars.

Mr. King, you made me cry. You are not suppose to do that. You have made me cry in the past with 11/22/63, but that was suppose to be the exception. You did it to me again. You are a master at deception and very very good at your craft. I forgive you.

This is a coming of age tale. A tale of forgetting the girl, the first real love and of growing up. It takes place in Joyland, an amusement park, in the summer and autumn months of a young college student’s life.

The pacing is good, the secondary characters are great and the story…well, the story is definitely not the gory, hard crime novel I thought it was going to be when I picked it up, turned on all the lights and started to read. I couldn’t put this book down, and yes, there is a tiny bit of gross and gore for those who want and need it; the spider imagery was downright creepy and very nicely snucked into what I was beginning to think was a gentle read. (It was snucked, that is a word; Stephen King is very sneaky.)

Well worth your time.

Categories: Book Review, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: A Review

What a fantastic read!

I finished reading this book and thought such a wrong, wrong, story! It had me hooked from about half way through. I gave it 4 stars because of all the twists and how so nasty it was.  I love any book with a good twist!

Nick was pretty sympathetic at the beginning, but not for long. He came across as the super likeable, boy next door type of guy. However, there was some nuance that led you to think it wasn’t all just a fairy tale, and he was just a little too innocent in his own mind. Can’t put my finger on it, but I knew there was something. He had his share of crazy, too.

Amy takes the cake, she’s truly deceitful – her level of revenge is something fierce. I ended up sort of hating them both, but yet being intrigued by the lengths they would go to.

In the first half of the book Nick is an ASSHOLE and a very typical ‘victim’ of supposedly being neglected by a wonderful wife. I think it’s interesting how relationships can change so much in a matter of a few years. I related to a lot of what Amy was feeling in her diary entries – not to that same extent, but the alienation and neglect. It’s a horrible place to find yourself. Their marriage was fake, but I think many are, to be honest. I think very few marriages are the same out in public than they are behind closed doors. Not saying that’s bad – it’s just reality.

The cops reminded me of those in the movie “Fargo” and Go reminded of Dexter’s sister – crude, vulgar, but definitely herself.  I loved Go. Not quite sure what it is about her, but the relationship between Nick and his sister is very special, and I found myself laughing at their interactions.

Back to Nick and Amy.  On their fifth anniversary, Nick wonders, “What have we done to each other? What will we do?”

However…things are not what they ever seem to be.

Amy is not dealing with reality, and her lies (in her mind) are necessary.  I started out feeling like Amy was truly trapped, and that life had not been good to her – seriously messed up parents who wanted her to be a character in a book, money struggles, having to move to the middle of nowhere… Then BAM…how the author twists it COMPLETELY around? Genius! Amy’s life has always revolved around her, and she just didn’t have the skillset to see beyond.  She most likely feels that this (you need to read the book to find out what “this” is) is what she has to do.  Nick?  He’s just a cheater.

Talk about toxic, psychotic, unhealthy marriage … This book moved at a very good pace and constantly kept me wondering what was going to happen next. Both characters were self-absorbed, attention freaks who seemed to be a victim of the other. Nick rarely took any responsibility for his cheating (and of course, as most cheaters do, blamed his wife’s lack of attention to him) and Amy was just a victim in most of her relationships, thinking everyone needed to WORK just to be worthy of her.

The ironic thing is, at the end, you notice how both of them are sickly addicted to each other and probably never would be happy with anyone else other than each other.

I love the last line Nick says to Amy! Somehow I don’t think she got the last word in… Mind games!

There are more twists than a knotted rubber band in this plot.  The ending left me feeling confused with Nick’s choices and the games people play.  Halfway through I could not put it down anymore. When I finished the last page I did not like the ending but after a while I somehow made my peace with it that it actually does fit perfectly in the book.

As a lot of people have seemed to mention the end of the book and not liking the ending or being confused by it, I thought I would post this link here… .  It’s the author, Gillian Flynn, explaining why she ended the book the way she did.  It now makes sense.

I can safely say I’ve never read anything quite so twisted as this psycho thriller.  This is a brilliantly-crafted book. Certain parts annoyed me, like the ending with Desi and the ending with Nick, but just because the plot annoyed doesn’t mean it wasn’t excellent. This plot got to me, just like Amy got to Nick. This book evoked such a response from me, that it must be good art.

Gillian Flynn really gets into her characters’ heads and creates a deeply psychologically story that sometimes doesn’t sit well, on purpose.

Categories: Book Review, Fiction, Mystery, Thriller | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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